Cape Town - A Mitchells Plain crèche owner has allegedly been caught on camera smacking two children at her facility.
The owner of Darul Ghair Islamic Based Educare Centre in Portland has also been accused of forcing children to eat their own vomit, and feeding them old food from her house.
It’s a “crèche from hell”, says former teacher Joanne Tabanie, who resigned as she could no longer stomach the alleged “abuse” of almost 40 children, by owner Gaironiesa Abrahams.
She claims Abrahams regularly beats the children, and in two instances she filmed the woman slapping two little boys.
In the first video, a woman believed to be Abrahams, bends over a three-year-old child sitting on the floor, and repeatedly smacks him.
She asks him: “Hoekom byt jy my kind, ha? (Why are you biting my child?)”
The child screams and the 10-second video ends.
In another clip, one of the crèche children is asked who smacked him, and he says: “Teacher Gairo.”
In a third video, Abrahams, wearing a scarf, is seen smacking another boy who apparently refused to eat his food.
Joanne, filming the scene, tells Abrahams and another teacher not to let the child eat food from the floor.
Joanne says she started working at the crèche in February, but resigned on 7 October.
“The reason I resigned is because the principal abused the children and there was nothing I could do,” she says. “Her crèche also isn’t registered.”
She claims Abrahams feeds the children leftovers from her own home, but most of the time, she would simply share 10 packets of two-minute noodles among the nearly 40 kids.
“If a child did not want to eat, I’ve seen her force the child and that child ends up vomiting. They’d get smacked and that vomit will be fed to them again until they’ve done eating.”
“She even smacks them with the phone or turns their ears. Some children get pulled by their hair like they’re rag dolls. If the babies don’t want to sleep, she goes and fetches medicine out of her own fridge and gives it to them!
“I would advise parents to remove their children. That woman is evil.”
A parent, who has previously removed her child over alleged abuse, told the Daily Voice: “All I want is for her to close and never work with children again.”
The Daily Voice visited the crèche and asked Abrahams to comment on the allegations against her.
“I have got nothing to say. I will get my lawyer involved if you need to know anything.
“Tell your people they better have their facts straight because I will sue them,” she said.
Sihle Ngobese, the spokesman for Social Development MEC Albert Fritz, says an investigation will be launched immediately.
“We encourage aggrieved parents to come forward to the DSD Mitchells Plain local office and report any cases of alleged child abuse to us. Social workers will also assist with counselling, if required,” he said.